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Sonic Spinball Unknown Cover Art "Sonic Pinball"

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by MrMechanic, Feb 19, 2024.

  1. MrMechanic

    MrMechanic

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    [​IMG]

    This was posted over on Sonic Stadium over the weekend.

    According to the uploader, it was from the 1993 Woolworths Christmas catalogue (UK) (date given is November), back in the day the user cut it out and taped it into an old scrapbook and just recently re-discovered it.

    Now... obviously this presents an 'easy' way to verify it, find a copy of that catalogue which... isn't the easiest thing to do, I can't find a scanned copy online or anything else from searches so....


    Anyone on Retro bonkers enough to have a collection of these?
     
  2. Beamer the Meep

    Beamer the Meep

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    That looks like the slot machine from Casino Night as the background for whatever it's worth.
     
  3. Yash

    Yash

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    Yeah, looks like a mock-up the catalog threw together for some reason. You can even see the HUD from Sonic 2.
     
  4. aria

    aria

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    despite being a mockup, this is really cool. i wonder if theres any woolworths catalogue archives around for 1993?

    I know Argos actually had an interactive archival site for their catalogues n like 2020 or something one year, and i spent ages looking at old catalogues from when i was a kid. was a nice trip down nostalgia lane.
     
  5. Starduster

    Starduster

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    I doubt a Woolworths catalogue archive site exist in any such official capacity, given they went under when I was still a kid (around 15+ years ago I think). Frankly, it makes the claim more credible to me because nobody's thought about that chain in years! At any rate, hopefully the community sleuths are able to turn up something.
     
  6. aria

    aria

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    yeah, my apologies. what i kinda meant was, i was wondering if there were any archival efforts by others, on archive.org or w/e. and used the argos example as one, but that's a chain that's still in business, and much like you, woolworths went under in the uk when i was a kid.
     
  7. LF222

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    Woolworths is still around here in AU, doubt it helps though
     
  8. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    These things turn up on ebay every now and then - someone's trying to sell the 1996 edition for too much money as I type this.

    But yes, like most things, someone will need to scan it. And it's a good exercise regardless, not just because of social history, but because big retailers often had to do with mockups and vague descriptions during the pre-order phase of a game. Pretty much all of these came from similar listings in EGM and GamePro and whatever.


    I'm a little surprised there's not more online, given Woolworths used to be a big deal, but I guess people don't really think about this stuff.
     
  9. Mastered Realm

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    I've never paid attention to this before but all slots are very unique in their layout and placement, thanks to that we can tell this mockup precisely used the first one in Act 2.
     
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  10. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    November 1993, would that not be the Christmas Catalogue?

    EDIT: Man, I had the biggest brain blank on the Christmas Catalogue actually being mentioned right there, sorry.

    It's a curious image, but makes sense since everything about Sonic Spinball was rushed. What's interesting is that Pinball text there, with Sonic's quills.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2024
  11. Brainulator

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    Apparently, that's a separate business that has no historical links to the British (or American) operations other than the name.
     
  12. Overlord

    Overlord

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    Yeah, there's a few of them. It's still going in South Africa as well, though down there it's more like Marks and Spencers/John Lewis level.
     
  13. Josh Cristan

    Josh Cristan

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    When I was a wee boy (cue Hovis music) I clearly remember seeing this.

    Also, in the months between Sonic 3 and the announcement of Sonic & Knuckles, catalogues were taking orders for "Sonic 3 Part 2".
     
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  14. Jaxer

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    It could've been Sonic & Knuckles' planned name at some point in development, as this is what Duncan Gutteridge's full cover for Sonic 3's European release looks like:

    EtaZrEOXIAQinaC.jpeg
     
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  15. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    Yeah, it seems apparent from reports that the two parts were going to use that naming scheme.

    Might have been an Europe-only thing, though. Who knows.
     
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  16. GoldeMan

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    Never seen the full cover, no idea "Part One" was hidden down there! Mind blowing to me
     
  17. Prototype

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    So, while we have a weird mockup with an obvious screen cap of Casino Night Zone used for the background, where does the art of Sonic holding a pinball come from?

    Looks pretty similar to JP Sonic art as opposed to US/EU designs, but I've never seen that pose.

    Was it designed specifically for this game, or was it some kind of hasty edit of another image of Sonic holding an object?

    I feel like the Sonic art as well as the logo was designed for this game. There's no reason to have such good official looking art when the other elements are clearly cut and pasted together.

    So, how did it end up in this form?

    Were retailers asking for artwork for upcoming games to advertise them, and whoever sent over the art just sent them whatever they had, which was just a possible logo and artwork as opposed to cover art? Perhaps the retailers wanted a game cover to fit the style of the other advertised games in the catalogue.

    Spinball was an STI game developed on a bit of a crunch and it's final cover was done by Greg Martin I believe.

    This Sonic art looks like it was altered from a familiar early Sonic art piece (not sure where it first originated, but the one that was included with Tails/Knuckles/Robotnik's art in the Windows 95 Sonic 3D Blast manual file), but it still looks nice enough quality that I would sincerely believe it's official art sent over from whatever SEGA branch they were in contact with.

    Given that this was a UK thing, it's possible that they were unable to get art directly from America (STI) or Japan for this and just had some SEGA UK art guy to do the artwork for the mockup mostly traced from official JP Sonic art but nobody ever really said that they needed a cover.

    Maybe the dude was just told "We need a picture and a logo or something for Sonic Pinball" and that's all he ever did, and they were like "crap, no background, hit up the stock promo screenshot archives".

    Perhaps one could compare the score/time/rings and XY coordinates and match up the background to a specific Sonic 2 preview screenshot (pre-release or otherwise) seen in gaming mags and catalogues of the time?

    For what it's worth, there are some similarities between this logo and the UK "Sonic the Comic" logo.

    Note that despite being in all-caps, the SONIC has the pinball in place of the dot on a dotted "i", just like the StC logo, and the Pinball portion of the text uses the same yellow-outline-on-red-text style as StC.

    Were visual cues taken from Sonic the Comic since it was probably the most known Sonic thing in UK Print media at the time? For UK kids, this logo may have been more instantly familiar than the standardised font style used elsewhere. You would surely see the comic more often in life than you would a game logo used on the game box but not in-game.

    Don't think we saw standard Sonic style text in game until S3.
    Screenshot_20240304_232211_Google.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2024
  18. Mr. Cornholio

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    This seems like the most likely case. To me, it looks like the art traces over/very heavily references that 'finger wag Sonic' art used for the Japanese/Europe Sonic 1 cover.

    Overlaying the unknown cover art with the Sonic 1 art, they very nearly match up posing-wise with minor differences. Really only Sonic's left hand and the feet positions seem to majorly differ:
    [​IMG]

    So really I'm not sure if there's any really interesting story behind it other than they asked someone at Sega Europe to whip up a mockup cover extremely quickly for catalog listings after they realized they needed something to promote this new upcoming game.
     
  19. Prototype

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    Yeah, that is the art I was referring to. Somehow I forgot that it was Sonic 1 art. The first time I remember seeing that pose was with the art included in Sonic 3D Blast on Windows 95 hence that being my first recollection.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2024
  20. Nik Pi

    Nik Pi

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    I am the one who remembered this after looking at PINBALL text?
    upload_2024-3-4_21-49-45.png

    Also SONIC font looks not like regular sonic logo font, more like random text that somehow reminds it. Also colour scheme like on Sonic 2 logo (blue with orange borders)